The Greater Priesthood, Greater Kingdom and a Greater Priest-King

Haggai 2:10-23 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, 11 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Ask the priests about the law: 12 ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?’” The priests answered and said, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the LORD, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean. 15 Now then, consider from this day onward. Before stone was placed upon stone in the temple of the LORD, 16 how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. 17 I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the LORD. 18 Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid, consider: 19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.”

20 The word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, 22 and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23 On that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the LORD, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the LORD of hosts.”

This is our final week in Haggai. It’s been a lot of fun, we’ve certainly chased down a lot of Old testament themes and background. While it’s a short book, hopefully you recognize just how much gold is packed inside. And this kind of richness is packed into each book of the Bible. I pray that it would motivate you to freshly study scripture and experience the richness of God’s Word.

The book of Haggai is largely about having and keeping right priorities before the LORD. Setting our priorities right, and keeping them there is hard work. But with the proper motivation, which I hope we will see today, can make all the difference.

Here’s a quick recap of where we have been so far in the book. The people, a remnant of the former glory of Israel, have returned from exile. They are commissioned to rebuild the temple, but after a false start, are slow to rebuild. Even worse, they are spending time and resources on building their own homes. So the LORD speaks through the prophet Haggai to call the people to consider their ways.

Their priorities are out of order, and they experience curse because of it. God actually causes drought and futility because of their disobedience and unfaithfulness to the covenant. And then we see at the end of chapter 1 that the people obey. They resume the work on the temple and God tells them that he is with them. God’s desire has always been to dwell in fellowship with his people.

Now, chapter 2 begins with the people working, but growing discouraged. The new building effort falls far short of the former glory of Solomon’s temple. Again Haggai speaks the words of the LORD to the people. While the remnant sees what’s in front of them, they need eyes of faith to look towards the future glory. And that future glory is the advent of Christ. He is the greater glory than a building made with hands. For the remnant of Judah, these are the promises the LORD makes to give them hope for the future.

Now as we wrap up the final section of Haggai, the people will receive more good news for the future. While their ways have cost them, Haggai again assures blessing will come soon. Last week we saw a greater, more glorious house was to come, this week we will look at a greater priesthood and a greater kingdom. And each of these are only possible with the hope of a greater priest and a greater king.

The overall book of Haggai is organized in a chiasm, where the high point of the book is the middle section, which we covered last week. Then the sections on either side correspond to one another. So this week is kind of like coming down the other side of a mountain. We will hear similar themes to the first chapter, but with a slight twist too. So if it sounds repetitive, it kind of is, but Haggai also expands what was said. And now in light of the promises of a glorious new house, as we come down the mountain, there is greater hope in other areas too.

The structure of our passage looks like this:

Verses 10 through 14 speak to the current futility of the people through the priesthood.

Verses 15-19 promise future blessings, beginning now.

And verses 20-23 promise a future, permanent kingdom ruled by a permanent king.

A greater priesthood with a greater priest, and a greater kingdom with a greater king.


Our Father in heaven, we thank you that we can approach you in peace. We can actually call you father and ask you things as sons and daughters. I pray that your name would be hallowed this morning. Not just here at Grace, but around the world as your people gather. Please strengthen your church to accomplish great things for the kingdom. Things that will make earth more and more like heaven. May your will be done this morning and on into this week. May your Word stir us to godly action. May our faith work out in tangible ways. Strengthen our souls. We ask that the daily bread you have provided for us in your Word would feed us. May we hear and respond in faith. May sin be confessed and put to death. Forgive us of our areas of unbelief. Forgive us of our dullness or ignorance. Forgive us for sinning against one another, and may we be gracious towards others as well. Help us to be quick to forgive. Whether that’s in our own families, our neighborhoods or one another in the church. Father deliver us from temptation and evil. May we focus while your word is preached and fight against distraction. May we delight in dwelling in your presence this morning. Keep us from sin as we scatter this afternoon. Thank you that your Word is sufficient for all things. May it do more than we can imagine this morning. Amen.

The current priesthood

Our next section, chapter 2 verses 10-17 brings us to another date marker. This time we are in the twenty fourth day of the ninth month. The ninth month in the Hebrew calendar is what is our twelfth month. It’s December 24th, the first day of Hannukkah and obviously Christmas eve. But those holidays both came later than when Haggai wrote his book. Instead there are two biblical reasons for this date: first, it was planting season for the area. And second this date marks the dedication of the temple, something that Hannukkah picks up on later in history.

The rest of the chapter all occurs on this date. So Haggai begins by asking questions of the priests on behalf of the people. One of the priests’ duties was to teach and explain the law. But the questions aren’t simply for information’s sake. Haggai is asking rhetorical questions to get at the spiritual state of the remnant. Remember when the prophet Nathan told a parable to David to draw him out and confess his guilt over Bathsheba? Haggai is driving at something similar to convict the people and make a point.

He asks two questions and gets two answers. Look at question one in verse 12:

12 ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?’” The priests answered and said, “No.”

It sounds strange to us, Haggai is referring back to the Levitical law code.

The first question is about holiness. What is holiness?

The closer to the middle of the tabernacle or temple you got, the closer you were to God’s holy presence. With each step, the fewer people could enter. And there were more stipulations with each further step. Step one was the outer court, where any Israelite could go and bring their offerings. But they must be holy. Step 2 is the holy place, the outer area of the tabernacle or temple. Only priests could enter this area, and priests had to be consecrated or set apart for their duties. The final step is within the holy of holies where the ark of the covenant resided. Only the High Priest could enter this area, and he had further requirements and instructions for offering sacrifices of atonement. The further inside you went, the closer you came to the holiness of God.

That’s fine and good, but what does that have to do with what Haggai is talking about. When people would offer the various animal sacrifices the priests were allowed to eat part of the sacrifices, and even bring them home to their families. This was a provision for the priests, since they ministered to the LORD at the temple. So they would wrap the meat in the fold of their garment or robe and carry it home. The question then, is whether this holy meat makes other things holy through touch. The meat was made holy because it was offered on the altar. It was made holy through God himself lighting the fire on the altar. But the question Haggai asks is how far can holiness spread. If you have a piece of meat made holy on God’s altar, can that make other things holy as well? And the priests’ correct answer is ‘no’. Holiness doesn’t simply spread through degrees of contact, like holy meat to a garment to something else. Touching holy things doesn’t spread holiness indefinitely.

In fact, the opposite is true. If someone who isn’t holy enters a place or touches something that is holy, it will defile everything. as we see from Haggai’s second question.

Haggai asks the priests a second question:

13 Then Haggai said, “If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.”

While the first question dealt with holiness, this question deals with uncleanness. This is another feature of the covenant that we are not familiar with. These are the things that are buried in Leviticus and we assume are irrelevant to us today.

This might take a little work to understand the clean/unclean codes. A better word than clean is purity. Basically when God gave the covenant, many of the rules and statutes emphasized being clean. This is a different category than holiness. But it is a state that points to death in the world. And as a result, it would keep you from the assembly and God’s presence. There were requirements around foods, bodily discharges, diseases and even mold in a house. And each of these laws would have instructions on how to become clean again.

For example, when a woman gave birth, she would be unclean because it involved blood. Obviously birth is not sinful or immoral, but the mother would have been unclean for a set amount of time. She would need become clean in order to return to the community. She would wash and make an offering after the instructed time outside the camp and then be able to return.

Haggai’s question involves someone who has touched a dead body. Again, this is part of life and people would have had to touch dead bodies. It wasn’t sinful, it wasn’t superstitious, but it did make someone ceremonially unclean. And Haggai’s point is that while holiness doesn’t spread through contact, uncleanness or impurity does. Anyone unclean who touched someone or something else, spread impurity. So as difficult as holiness was to pass on, making things unclean was very easy. And this is where Haggai ties these priestly questions to the state of the people in verse 14.

14 Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the LORD, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean.

Haggai once again reminds the people of their spiritual state since the return from exile. Without correct priorities, without true faith and repentance, their offerings are profane before God. Without the proper sacrificial system, they could not become clean or offer holy offerings.

Now once they rebuild the temple and dedicate it, they will have a place to offer right sacrifices. But these questions of the priest still show the need for something better. Holiness does not spread, while uncleanness-the reminder of death-spreads easily.

Fast forward to the New Testament and we see a new priest who will usher in a new and better priesthood. There’s a well-known story about Jairus’ daughter and the bleeding woman. This is found in Matthew 9, Mark 5 and Luke 8. It’s kind of two stories in one but they both show how Jesus is the greater priest.

Without explaining the entire passage, here are the relevant pieces for us. There is a girl who is dying and her father, Jairus, asks Jesus to come, touch her and heal her. On the way to Jairus’ home, a crowd gathers around Jesus. You might say he was in the midst of the crowd. A woman had been bleeding for 12 years with no cure. She comes all the way into the middle of the crowd and touches the fringe, or fold, of Jesus’ garment. Here is Jesus, God made flesh, wrapped in his priestly garment. And the woman touches him.

According to Haggai’s question, the woman won’t become holy simply through touching the fold of his garment. This woman wouldn’t have been allowed in the court of the temple because of her uncleanness. And yet, Jesus knowing that power had gone out from him tells the woman, ‘take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ Instead of needing to go through a priest made holy through rituals, the woman boldly approaches the holy son of God directly. And Jesus our Great High Priest reveres the effects of sin and death. Instead of being touched by an unclean woman, Jesus as the perfect, holy priest heals her and makes it possible for her to be clean.

Then Jesus arrives at Jairus’ house and touches a dead body. And instead of becoming unclean, he raises the girl and returns life to her. Holiness is spreading and the signs of death, like uncleanness, are being removed.

Jesus is a different kind of priest. It’s incredible enough that he heals the sick and raises the dead. But even more amazing is that he transforms the priesthood. Instead of holiness being confined, and uncleanness spreading, Jesus reverses these. These are more signs that the end of death comes with Christ’s appearing.

And through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, he expands the priesthood. Instead of narrowing access to a holy God, the access expands and so does the priesthood.

All who are saved by the gospel become priests. We have the Holy Spirit who empowers us as we bring Jesus to those around us. What is our job as priests in the new covenant? We are called to several things. We are called to proclaim the excellencies of the LORD (1 Peter 2:9) to the world around us. We are called to purify ourselves by obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love(1 Peter 1:22). We are called to lives of holiness (1 Peter 1:13-16).

Jesus is the one who makes us holy, but we still must ensure that we are pure when we approach in worship. This is the simplicity of confession and the assurance of pardon. While our status before God won’t change as saints (or holy ones), we can still enter into worship in a profane way. So we remind you of the seriousness of worship and that the gospel is what purifies us to enter into worship.

This is also part of what should motivate us to live according to God’s priorities. We are now priests, representing the LORD to a dying world.

Blessings from this day onward

With the next section, we return to where we found ourselves in chapter one: Consider your ways. Only instead of calling the people to repent from working on their houses and making them fancy, Haggai looks forward with hope. He first reminds them of their futility before they began the rebuild effort. God had cursed the people in the field and in the barn and in their houses. The hope was that the people would repent and turn back to their God. That is the purpose of God’s curses: to lead people back to Him.

The remnant has been beat up by Haggai quite a bit. They are reminded multiple times about the futility of their efforts because they have sought their interests over the interests of the LORD. But the next two verses mark a change. Haggai tells the people that this day of dedication marks a new start.

18 Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid, consider: 19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.”

After experiencing the curses of blight and mildew, drought and meager harvests, this day is a new day. Remember that this is the month of planting for Israel. If they planted seeds, they wouldn’t yet know what kind of harvest there would be. I have planted plenty of gardens dreaming of the harvest I would reap. Haggai is a reminder that God is the LORD of the harvest and controls all things. So even if the planter does everything right, if God desires to curse through a poor harvest, it will be a poor harvest. But here is a reminder that the inverse is true too. If the remnant plants with right priorities, trusting in the LORD for provision, the LORD will bless.

This is what Moses promised all the way back in Deuteronomy 30:

And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you, 2 and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.

Moses connects returning to the LORD with blessing. The connection is the same that Haggai makes: Fearing the LORD rather than men, and keeping the LORD’s commandments brings blessing. And this is more than spiritual blessings. It can show up as material blessings.

Is this prosperity gospel? Maybe it could sound that way, but this is the truth of scripture. Separating spiritual and physical is a lot harder than it seems. Instead of receiving blessings for obedience according to what God has promised, the Prosperity gospel turns it into a formula without good news. The prosperity gospel says if you do X, or give this much money, you’ll receive the blessing you want. And if you don’t get the blessing you want, there’s something wrong with you. But the true gospel of scripture always begins with what God has already done for us. And that leads to the requirements of the covenant and the blessings and curses. But the blessings are real and they are tied to the covenant.

It won’t always show up in the ways we might want, but when our priorities are to seek the LORD’s priorities, God’s word says that he will provide: Seek first the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you (Matt 6:33).

‘These things’ include the material things. Do you believe that God will bless you if you reorient your life around his will? Do you believe that if you cut out idolatry or wrong priorities, that God would be pleased to lavish blessings on you?

Be strong, Grace. You might have to make hard decisions, you might displease people. But whatever is out of place, work in faith to put it right. It might mean cancelling a streaming service. It might mean disappointing your kids when you tell them no to a sport or activity. It might mean your body experiences more pain because you are pushing harder to be here on Sundays. But the promise Haggai speaks is true. Consider your ways, put things right and you will be blessed.

A Better Kingdom

The final section is another promise related to a better future, this time Haggai speaks about a better kingdom.

Hag. 2:20 The word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, 22 and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother.

Once again we see this promise to shake the heavens. In our last passage there was slightly different wording and we saw that it was a shaking of the cosmos that would bring in the New covenant and the greater glory in Christ. Christ is the greater glory and his body establishes the church.

And now we see more shaking, but this time the description is of destruction. And instead of other houses, or bringing in the nations and their treasures, this time it relates to the kingdoms of the world. In the book of Daniel, there are several visions of the empires of earth being removed. First the Babylonians, then the Persians, the Greeks and then the Romans. By the time of Haggai, Babylon had already been removed. The Persians will be removed within the next century by Greece. And eventually the Romans will conquer the world before the time of Christ. And this sets up the prophecy by Haggai when he speaks of destroying all other kingdoms.

Daniel 2:44– And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,

Not everyone agrees that this shaking refers to the destruction of these kingdoms. Some see this as a future destruction at the end of time when Jesus returns. But Remember that this passage is part of Hebrews 12. There it compares the shakings in Haggai to something parallel with the Exodus. Notice the language in Haggai about overthrowing chariots and their riders. This harkens back to the Red Sea and the glorious victory for Israel over the ruling kingdom of their day. And that coincides with the Covenant given at Sinai. So then what future event is Haggai talking about?

Hebrews 12:26 gives us more clues. the writer of Hebrews uses Haggai’s quote about shaking to describe this in relation to a permanent kingdom.

26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

The remnant lived under the rule of Persia. But Haggai, with some help from Hebrews, points them to a future and better kingdom. A kingdom that cannot be shaken.

And that kingdom-Jesus’ kingdom-is here. It is permanent and it is expanding. It will take awhile to fully grow, like a mustard seed. But it is here. We talk about the church a lot, and it is a vital piece of the kingdom, but the kingdom is actually the larger realm. The kingdom includes everything we do: church, work, family, entertainment,

There are things that belong to the church, like right worship, sacraments and membership. But everything else we do in life is a chance to work for the kingdom. There is not an area of life where God is indifferent about it. It means that eventually all institutions and areas of life will conform to Christ’s rule. All enemies will be put under his feet. All nations will come in. And we should use this to motivate us in our lives. As we fight to have right priorities, remember that your life matters and what things you do in life matter. Because it goes towards a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

That doesn’t mean it’s a straight line towards glory and nothing bad will happen. Expanding the kingdom is hard work and it will involve toil, and suffering. That might be a larger part of our immediate future, but the longer term vision is one of expansion and glory.

We’ve already seen a better priesthood with a better priest. Now we have a better kingdom, and it begs for a better king. So Haggai continues with one last prophecy concerning a better king. Verse 23 addresses Zerubbabel.

Zerubbabel was the current governor of Judah, under the rule of Darius. We’ve previously mentioned that Zerubbabel is in the line of David. He is the son of Shealtiel and the grandson of Jehoiachin, the last king of Judah before exile. Like many of Israel and Judah’s kings, Jehoiachin, also known as Jeconiah, did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. The prophet Jeremiah warned Jeconiah what would happen as a result of his evil ways:

Jer. 22:24 “As I live, declares the LORD, though [Je]Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off 25 and give you into the hand of those who seek your life, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they will long to return, there they shall not return.”

Just as Jeremiah prophesied, Jeconiah/Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, along with the holy vessels from the temple. Notice the other things which were promised: the LORD would tear off Jeconiah like a signet ring. And verse 30 says

30 Thus says the LORD:
    “Write this man down as childless,
        a man who shall not succeed in his days,
    for none of his offspring shall succeed
        in sitting on the throne of David
        and ruling again in Judah.”

So Israel will no longer have a ruler with the LORD’s authority. And there will be no successor to the throne in Judah either. That is a grim future for Israel. Maybe they will rebuild the temple, maybe there will be a greater priest and priesthood, but it sounds like ruling as a nation again is out of the question. But this simply points to another of God’s promises of something better and more glorious than Israel’s remnant knew.

23 On that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the LORD, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the LORD of hosts.”

Where it seemed that the Davidic line was cut off, the LORD of Hosts ensures that the line will continue. It’s a story of resurrection and new life for the line of David. Zerubbabel will be like a signet ring.

A signet was the official mark of a ruler. It would have their official mark or icon. Whatever an official would decree, they would stamp with their signet into wax or clay. Whatever was stamped was identical to that ruler or authority speaking a decree. We see this in a variety of rulers in the Old Testament, back as far as Judah and Joseph all the way up to King Darius. And from the passage on Jeconiah we heard a minute ago, the King of Judah also had a signet to represent their authority before God. But Jeconiah would have his signet ripped off. And not only that but his line would be cutoff with no successor. And yet, God promises a new ruler like a signet. How can God do that? Because he’s God and he says so. What was dead, the old line of Judah, is in a sense resurrected through God’s promise to Zerubbabel. He has chosen Zerubbabel to point to a greater ruler, Jesus Christ.

And Christ is King. He came to declare the gospel of his kingdom. Because he is the rightful king who rules over everything. He rules by his perfect law. He is the true signet ring. He has all authority. And he will conform everything in his kingdom to match his image. That’s what a signet ring is for. So we, as citizens of his kingdom, must match his image increasingly. In the power of the gospel, we must work to transform the world around us to conform to the image of Christ.

Conclusion: wrapping up Haggai

As we wrap up the book of Haggai, how should we respond? We’ve covered a lot of ground, whipped around a lot of different places and themes in the Old Testament. What are the practical takeaways?

The first and most significant truth of the book is that God’s priorities bring blessing. And if we cross up our priorities, we won’t be blessed and will be cursed. So Grace, consider your ways. Live intentionally. Evaluate your time and calendar. How do you spend your time? What gets put on the calendar and what gets missed? And begin with the largest pieces first. Before we can talk about working for the kingdom, we must begin with fervent worship with the saints on the Lord’s Day. Start with Sunday mornings and block them off every week to gather with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

We talked before about the subtle drifts that can happen and pull us off course. You’re playing in the ocean and without trying you will be yanked down the beach. It takes effort to maintain right priorities. Worship on the LORD’s Day is like a giant anchor driven into the sandy depths to keep us in place. Fight to be here every week. It means saying no to other fine things like youth sports, a quick jaunt to the cabin or sleeping in. It might mean looking at your Saturday’s and ensure your family isn’t too worn out that you can’t make it on Sunday morning. This is the kind of intentionality Haggai is requiring.

If that anchor of regular worship is in place for you, move on to other areas. Begin asking questions about why you decide to do the things you do? Why don’t you do other things? Work out from there to ensure you are striving for personal holiness. Shut your phone off and begin the day in prayer and the Word. Let that holiness spread to your family.

Men, are you leading family worship? Do you pray with your wife and children? Do you open up the scriptures to read together?

Evaluate your treasures. Where does your money go?

Kids, ask your parents why you do the things you do as a family. Do it respectfully, but help ask good questions about your family’s priorities.

Evaluate your attitude. Are you living for the glory of God and the building of his kingdom, or do you actually want your own glory and the building of your kingdom? What causes you anger or frustration? Is it because Christ’s kingdom is disturbed, or is it actually your kingdom that’s threatened?

Ask one another. Ask an elder. May we orient around the LORD together and help one another.

Maybe a simpler way to think through your priorities is remembering that we are subjects of the King. What does the king require and what ways can make his kingdom glorious? Do you subject your life to the king in every area of life? I want to end with this:

Philippians 2 is a well-known passage and I think it sums up well what Haggai is trying to drive at in his book.

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Have the mind of Christ. Consider your ways and ensure that they line up with the mind of Christ.

Be willing to humbly serve, even when it’s hard, even when it doesn’t lead to immediate and glorious results.

But also have the right motivation: the glorious future that awaits us when the kingdom reaches its fullness and every knee should bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.


King Jesus, we acknowledge your rule. You have all authority in heaven and earth. Thank you for declaring us holy, thank you for making us priests. May we live lives of holiness and be conformed more and more to your image. May we be motivated by your glory to seek your kingdom and the building of it. May we see disciples made. May we look forward in hope for all nations to come in and confess you as Lord. May we obey all that you have commanded and teach others to do the same. May we remember that you are with us for all time. My words are not articulate enough to declare your greatness. May you be pleased with our worship. May our hearts and priorities match what we sing. May our lives be glorious imprints of your image to those around us. Amen.